US wants Pakistan`s neighbours to step up aid effort

The US wants Pakistan`s neighbours to step up their effort and help the people to overcome this devastating flood that has inundated more than one fifth of the country and affected more than 20 million people.

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2010, 10:56 AM IST

Washington: The United States wants
Pakistan`s neighbours to step up their effort and help the
people to overcome this devastating flood that has inundated
more than one fifth of the country and affected more than 20
million people.

"We want to see Pakistan`s neighbours step up and
contribute significantly to Pakistan`s future," said P J
Crowley State Department spokesman.

A day earlier, the US had asked Pakistan to accept aid
offer from India.

Crowley emphasised that the future of Pakistan was not
only in the interest of the US, but also that of the region.

"Our future and Pakistan future are definitely tied
together and there is a threat within the borders of Pakistan
that directly impacts the US. So it is in our national
interest to help Pakistan develop in a way that reduces the
threat of extremism," he said.

The US had announced the establishment of the Pakistan
Relief Fund and asked all Americans to join in this tremendous
relief, recovery, and reconstruction effort.

"Through the relief fund that we will be putting
together in the coming days, we will be able to encourage
Americans to provide contributions, both small through a
texting program, and large through more significant donations,
to help show our commitment to the people of Pakistan," he
said.

The US was also reviewing the priorities under the USD
7.5 billion Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation identified for
Pakistan over the next five years.

"We would be reviewing, in light of the devastation,
what the country`s most critical infrastructure needs were,
work together with Pakistan to address basic needs, but also
we will be reprogramming resources to deal with both the
immediate and the intermediate needs that Pakistan has in
light of this disaster," Crowley said.

Referring to the visit of Chairman of Senate Foreign
Relations Committee Senator John Kerry to Pakistan, he said,
this will be a first effort as not only making sure that the
money that the US has set aside for Pakistan meets what it
would anticipate to be a changing set of priorities in light
of this disaster.

"We will also be looking at what Pakistan`s long-term
needs are. We understand there will be immediate needs because
Pakistan has lost its crop for this year. How we rebuild
infrastructure that we were already planning to update but now
may have to rebuild entirely, this is a process that we will
be working through with Pakistan once floodwaters recede," he
said.

Crowley said the US was going to do everything that it
can to demonstrate its support for the people of Pakistan.

"We are committed to the future of Pakistan and we
think that as we go on we will be able to generate significant
resources to be used for the people of Pakistan," he said.

PTI